Last year we traveled to Orlando, Florida during Spring break. The kids got perfect marks during the first part of the school year and this was my way of rewarding them. Each kid wanted to take a friend so at final count we ended up with 11 people. I priced the vacation packages that included airfare, hotel and car rental and it came out to over five thousand dollars! I was starting to feel disheartened that maybe we couldn’t afford the trip. While discussing this with a friend, she suggested that instead of flying, maybe I should consider driving. I started thinking, we had 4 adults who can drive so why not check out my options of renting a 12 passenger van. I called many different places and got prices that varied wildly. They wanted to limit the mileage, charge exorbitant rates and in general left me confused because it seemed like there were a lot of “add-ons” after the fact. I was telling my friend this and she suggested I contact AAMCAR. She said she rented with them on a bi-weekly basis for off-site work related meetings. She told me to ask for the manager, Henry and he would definitely be able to give me a comparable rate.
Well, I am glad that I called AAMCAR. My final cost for this rental was $1600. Henry even encouraged me to contact my American Express credit card and add premium car rental protection to the card which cost me just $25 more and saved hundreds of dollars in purchasing additional insurance from the car rental company. He even offered to remove the last seat of the 15 passenger van so we had ample room for luggage.
After a very fun and exhausting trip, I did the calculation of the total cost of this trip. I am happy to say that driving to Florida from NYC instead of flying, dealing with security for 7 kids cost me much less price wise and save us adults the headache.